I tend to have a vague theme in mind when I’m approaching a freeform piece of work. You could do a mood board, collecting photos, fabric, threads and other miscellany. Put them together on a background of card or fabric and take your colours from this. I tend to skip this step, or work most of it in my head. For the example below I was thinking about the sea (I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the sea to be fair!) The idea, though, isn’t to replicate the colours of the sea, but five yourself a starting point. It also helps to have an idea of what the piece will become. This piece will be a book cover for another journal sample for my upcoming Freeform Stitch Journal class in September.
I chose a mixed green dyed felt for my background. The light and dark of this suggests weed under the water.
Then I added some silks in a variety of sea hues.
Some fancy yarns and a little sparkle, with a contrast. Glitter on water and seaweed perhaps?
More texture in sea colours with thick and thin yarns
Metallic thread and shiny rayon for more sparkle. These threads are perfect for couching down thicker yarns.
And finally shells and beads.
Once I’m done gathering supplies I’ll put it in a bag and walk away for a few days. When I’m ready to begin stitching I’ll take it all out and remove anything that jars. I may not use everything I’ve collected in my piece, but narrowing it down to a few threads helps me get started. Less daunting than looking at my entire threads stash!